Sun, Nov 20, 2005 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take


■ China
Tears save sick mother

A peasant woman who suffered a brain hemorrhage was left at the undertakers alive for cremation because her family could no longer afford hospital treatment, state media said on Friday. She was only saved by the tears in her eyes. The case is the latest in a series of tragedies illustrating China's stretched health care system and the inability of rural workers to meet spiraling medical costs. You Guoying, a 47-year-old migrant worker from Sichuan Province, was taken for cremation by her husband and children in Taizhou, Zhejiang Province, where she worked, the China Youth Daily said. Fortunately for You, the undertaker realized she was still alive when he saw her move and tears in her eyes, the newspaper said.

■ India

Vultures to get `restaurants'

India's northeastern Assam state plans to open "restaurants" for vultures in order to save them from extinction, a news report said yesterday. The first such "restaurant" -- which will allow the avian scavengers to gorge on carcasses -- is scheduled to open near the state capital, Guwahati, soon. The restaurants will be an open-air affair with carcasses all around, the Hindustan Times reported. The restaurants are the brainchild of Assam's state forest department, which was concerned at the findings of a recent survey which said that the population of vultures in the region had come down alarmingly. Principal investigator of the survey, Anwaruddin Choudhury, told the newspaper that such restaurants will be an "inexpensive experiment" to save the birds from extinction.

■ Philippines
Broadcaster shot dead

A radio broadcaster and leftist political activist has been shot dead in the central Philippines, becoming the seventh journalist murdered in the country this year. Ricardo Uy, a provincial leader of the leftist Bayan Muna (Nation First) party and an announcer on radio station DXRS, was shot dead on Friday on the steps of his home in the central city of Sorsogon. The gunman, who was wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses, fled on a motorcycle following the shooting. The motive for the killing was still unknown.

■ Thailand

Publisher decries gag order

An outspoken publisher on Friday challenged a court order barring him from making remarks deemed harmful to Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, vowing to keep up his criticism of the premier and accusing the government of silencing the press. Thaksin won an injunction on Thursday in the Bangkok Civil Court to stop Manager Media Group publisher Sondhi Limthongkul and nine other parties, mainly media controlled by Sondhi, from criticizing him verbally or in writing in the group's publications. "I'm not afraid as my actions are driven by good intentions," Sondhi told thousands of people who gathered at a park in downtown Bangkok.

■ Singapore

World Toilet Day feted

Singapore is ditching its prudish image to highlight the plight of the 42 percent of the world's population who live without proper toilets and sanitation. Dotting the city center will be 28 life-sized cutouts of men and women with their pants down, squatting behind everyday objects, such as pieces of luggage, a trash can and a bag of groceries. "We want to make people think: How would you feel" if you had to do your business openly? Jack Sim, founding member of the Singapore-based World Toilet Organization, said yesterday at the launch of the four-day exhibition marking World Toilet Day.

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